Wera Hobhouse has written to Gavin Williamson on behalf of local parents asking for the Government to reinstate the School Fruit and Vegetable scheme for 4 - 6 year olds.
The scheme was suspended in March, when most schools were told to close and the Government has yet to confirm if the scheme will continue in September, once schools fully return.
In Moorlands School in Bath, the Parent Teacher Association raised money to provide fresh produce for the summer term but in her letter Wera Hobhouse says this “is not a sustainable solution”.
She also outlines research from Northumbria University which shows that “55% of children entitled to free school meals had not eaten any fresh vegetables over a period of three days during lock down”, while the research also shows that there was a “four-fold increase in the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks” consumed by the same group.
“Parents in Bath are extremely concerned by the lack of communication about this important scheme. It is the children who have been in school throughout lock down, the children of our local Key Workers, that have been impacted so far by the loss of the National School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme. And if the scheme fails to resume the impact will be felt by the most vulnerable in our community.
Boris Johnson and his Government act as though they are champions for our public services but in situations such as this they show their true colours – instead of protecting the rights of Key Workers children they have opted to save money by raiding our schools fruit baskets.”
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